Alec Clark resigns as rural panel chair

Councillor Alec Clark has dramatically resigned as chair of South Ayrshire Council’s rural panel this week.

He announced his resignation at a full meeting of South Ayrshire council on Thursday July 3 saying he would not be used as a political pawn.

Councillor Clark was given the chair of the Rural Panel after being elected as a councillor in Girvan and South Carrick in 2012.

Upon resigning Councillor Clark said: “I was asked to step down to let a new chair of the rural panel come in an attempt by this adminstration to appease their political opponents.

“This frankly is a sticking plaster attempt at dealing with the problems outlined by the Audit Commission.

“I don’t want to see this role politicised in anyway and I am not going to be used as a political pawn.

“The rural panel has done a lot of good work recently in building relations within our communities and I feel the rural panel has developed during my time as chair.”

The Audit Commission recommend that the SNP opposition group on South Ayrshire Council should be given a greater say and more influential roles in council panels.

Their report into South Ayrshire Council earlier this year heavily criticised the council’s structure and there have been calls that the SNP should be the party that chair Scrutiny Panels inside council chambers.

However, it is understood that the SNP will not be putting forward anyone as a nomination to replace Independent Councillor Clark as chair of the rural panel.

You can read more from Councillor Clark on his resignation in next weeks edition of The Carrick Gazette.